For a series of reasons I recently bought a Google Pixel 2. I’ve been wanting a change of scene and to go back to Android for some time - so far it’s going well. On top of all the benefits I was expecting - improved camera, speed and customisability over my iPhone 6 - there were a number of other surprising features that I’ve found really helpful.

The first feature is background tab opening from other apps. I get email news roundups and open links in them from my email client. This feature allows me to ‘queue’ a whole series of links for the next time I open Firefox - without leaving my email client. There’s a little pop-up if I did ever want to open a link right away.

background tab animation Background tabs from another app

Firefox also allows me to set my homepage to open when I open new tabs. I have built my own page with a series of links I like to start from so having this as my default new tab page is nice - if a small touch.

iOS is pretty fast to kill background apps. I often had issues with larger uploads to Slack and Dropbox. In Android these uploads get a dedicated task and persistent notification so I can see when and if they complete. No more returning to a Slack conversation only to find the file never sent. Slack is noticably faster on Android. Even vs an iPhone 8 which I tried out - I’m not sure what’s going on with the iOS slack client…

I’ve saved the simplest of these ‘windfall’ features for last. Android has what is effectively an alt-tab feature activated by double pressing the square menu button. This is really useful for copying and pasting from 1password. I find this faster than the iOS browser integration.

I also haven’t even taken my pixel charger out of the box #USBC #future.